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EVERY HIDDEN FEAR by Linda Rodriguez: Book Review

When two wealthy men come to the small town of Brewster, Missouri, old secrets are revealed and murder follows.  That’s the trouble with secrets; it’s hard to keep them hidden.

Skeet Bannion is chief of police at Chouteau University, having left her job as a detective in Kansas City for what she hoped would be a quieter life.  But even in a small town, there are motives for murder.

Brewster is divided, as are many cities and towns, by the possibility of a mall coming in and changing the face of the city.  Small business owners are afraid that the new mall will decimate the cluster of shops in the center of town, but they are fighting against men with the money to get their way.

Walker Lynch has big pockets, and it’s his money that is behind the mall.  Walker has brought in a man who grew up in Brewster, Ash Mobray, as an ally to convince the citizens to vote in his favor, but that might not have been the best idea.

Ash came from the worst family in town, but somehow he got together the money to go off to college and become a success.  But it seems as if he has returned home not just to back the mall but to get even with a number of Brewster’s citizens.

Ash’s pronouncement at the city council meeting that he’s the biological father of Noah, the high school quarterback, startles nearly everyone there.  But that’s not the only remark he makes that causes trouble.  He throws innuendos at one of the town’s businessmen, Peter Hume, who is in a homosexual relationship with a younger man.  Bea Roberts, owner of an antiques and collectibles store that would be hurt by the coming of the mall, is publicly trading insults with Ash.  And his offensive manner alienates him even from one of his former supportors, Pearl Brewster, the “first lady” of the city who gave him the money to leave town and go to college years ago.

Then, the morning after the meeting, Ash is found dead outside the country club, his head bashed in by a golf club.  Although the murder is outside her jurisdiction, Skeet is brought into the investigation by her foster son Brian, a friend of Noah’s.  It’s Noah’s club that was used repeatedly on Ash, and his fingerprints are the only ones on the club. 

Skeet has personal problems to deal with as well, problems that may be impacting on her investigation of the murder.  Three men are showing that they’re romantically interested in her:  her ex-husband, the town’s sheriff, and one of Walker Lynch’s employees.  However, Skeet has created a wall around herself, and she’s not sure if she wants to tear it down. 

Every Hidden Fear is the third Skeet Bannion novel.  The recurring characters in the series are well-drawn, and readers will care for them because they ring true to life.  Their strengths and vulnerabilities are something we can relate to as they try to get through life and the many problems they face.  Every Hidden Fear will bring readers more deeply into Skeet’s life and make them eager to follow her in the future.

You can read more about Linda Rodriguez at this web site.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her web site.